Wendelin Van Draanen
Wendelin Van Draanen
Books have always been a part of Wendelin Van Draanen’s life. Her mother taught her to read at an early age, and she has fond memories of story time with her father, when she and her brothers would cuddle up around him and listen to him read stories.
 
Growing up, Van Draanen was a tomboy who loved to be outside chasing down adventure. She did not decide that she wanted to be an author until she was an adult. When she tried her hand at writing a screenplay about a family tragedy, she found the process quite cathartic and from that experience, turned to writing novels for adults. She soon stumbled upon the joys of writing for children.
 
Feedback from her readers is Van Draanen’s greatest reward for writing. “One girl came up to me and told me I changed her life. It doesn't get any better than that,” she said. Van Draanen hopes to leave her readers with a sense that they have the ability to steer their own destiny—that individuality is a strength, and that where there's a will, there's most certainly a way.
 
Her first book was published in 1997, and since then her titles have won many awards. Now in its sixteenth installment, the Sammy Keyes Mysteries have been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Children’s Mystery five times, with Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief bringing home the statue. Additionally, she has won the Christopher medal for Shredderman: Secret Identity, the California Young Reader Medal for Flipped, and the Schneider Family Book Award for The Running Dream. Her books have been translated into many foreign languages, Shredderman became a Nickelodeon made-for-TV movie, and Flipped was released as a feature film, directed by Rob Reiner. She lives in California with her husband and two sons. Her hobbies include the “Three R’s”: Reading, Running and Rock ’n’ Roll. 
 
Fun Facts
Born January 6 in Chicago, IL 
 
Previous Jobs
Forklift driver, coach (sports), musician, high school math and computer science teacher 
 
Inspiration for writing
The past, the future, and the struggle for a happy ending!
 
Favorites
. . . food: sushi
. . . clothes to wear: Sneakers, shorts, and sweatshirts
. . . colors: Emerald green with a splash of midnight blue
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cover_9780307747983
Author: Wendelin Van Draanen | Narrator: Laura Flanagan
Release Date: January 11, 2011
Winner of the 2012 Schneider Family Book Award

Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She's not comforted by the news that she'll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run.
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cover_9780739379318
Author: Wendelin Van Draanen | Narrator: Marc Cashman
Release Date: June 08, 2010
Dave Sanchez (aka The Gecko) and his pet gecko (aka Sticky) are back in their fourth dangerous encounter with the dastardly treasure hunter Damien Black.
 
Thirteen-year-old Dave Sanchez is a daytime student, an after-school courier . . . and a secret superhero.
$13
ISBN: 9780739379318
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cover_9780739379271
Author: Wendelin Van Draanen | Narrator: Marc Cashman
Release Date: January 12, 2010
Dave's most despised teacher, a gleeful frog dissector named Ms. Veronica Krockle, is absent. Her students are psyched. But Sticky is suspicious. Especially when the substitute teacher turns out to be strangely interested in geckos. Or rather, boys with pet geckos.
$13
ISBN: 9780739379271
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cover_9780739379233
Author: Wendelin Van Draanen | Narrator: Marc Cashman
Release Date: May 26, 2009
Could you choose between a superpower and a friend.

The evil treasure hunter Damien Black needs some quick cash—so he robs the local bank. But Damien Black didn’t figure Dave Sanchez into his plan. Dave’s been itching to try out the Invisibility Ingot in his magical wrist band, and here’s the perfect opportunity to make like a superhero.
$13
ISBN: 9780739379233
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cover_9780739379196
Author: Wendelin Van Draanen | Narrator: Marc Cashman
Release Date: February 10, 2009
Dave Sanchez is an average boy with an after-school job and a pet gecko named Sticky. All very normal—until the day Sticky talks. Sticky tells Dave a wild tale of a former life of crime, searching for Aztec gold with a treasure hunter named Damien Black, and of a magical Aztec wristband with shiny gold power ingots that will give the wearer super powers.
$12.50
ISBN: 9780739379196
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